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For the 2009 tournament, as an example, Woods had won three of the last 10 U.S. Opens, one of the last five Masters, and two each of the previous five British Opens and PGAs. Throw in the other criteria (top 30 on the money list, multiple winners, world ranking) and Woods created an additional 12 spots in qualifying.

This year, mainly because of his drought in the majors, Woods has created an additional four spots. He likely could create a fifth spot if he’s not healthy enough to play.


DeJONGE INSPIRATION: For those players who withdraw after a big score in the opening round, Brendon de Jonge showed what’s possible at the Wells Fargo Championship. He opened with an 80, followed with a 62 to tie the course record at Quail Hollow, and at one point was only two shots out of the lead on Sunday.

He wound up in a tie for sixth, worth $239,775 and 95 points toward the FedEx Cup. That could go a long way.

Lesson learned?


“Curtis Strange nearly won the Masters after shooting 80, didn’t he?” Geoff Ogilvy said, correctly remembering 1985. “Guys will remember it for a week or two. I don’t think they’ll remember it forever.”

De Jonge is not one to WD, though it helped that he lives in Charlotte.

“But to shoot 62? That’s ridiculous,” Jimmy Walker said. “How can you do that? It’s golf, that’s how you can. I’ve always felt like there’s a chance. If I ever withdraw, it’s because I’m legitimately hurt. I did that in the final round at Tampa one year because my neck went out. It’s got to be really bad for me to quit.”

Ogilvy recalls being inspired by Tiger Woods in his pro debut at the Masters. Woods started the tournament with a 40 on the front nine. By Sunday, he had set the tournament record at 18-under 270 and won by a record 12 shots.

“For a few years post-‘97 Masters, if I shot 40 on the front nine and I would say, ‘Tiger shot 18 under after a 40 on the front nine.’ I definitely thought about that when I was over par in early. You’re never out of it. There’s rarely an excuse to not play the next 18 if you can function.”


CVS CHARITY CLASSIC: Steve Stricker returns to defend the only title he won last year in the CVS Charity Classic.

The 36-hole event hosted by Brad Faxon and Billy Andrade is at Rhode Island Country Club on June 23-24, right after the U.S. Women’s Open. Stricker won last year with Bo Van Pelt. They will be joined by Matt Kuchar, Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner, along with Juli Inkster and Lexi Thompson from the LPGA Tour. Inkster was the first female to play and is competing for the seventh year. Peter Jacobsen will be playing for the 16th straight time.

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